The Egyptians did so many things right that American protesters in the past have been doing wrong.
They employed patience, perseverance, and wouldn't take anything less than real change for an answer. But, I think, most importantly, they went on strike. That's hitting the corruption where it hurts. Check out Les Visible's Globoctopus Tightens its Grip.
Kenny's sideshow listed some principles observed by Sun Tzu that helped the protesters bring down Pharaoh:
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him.
We cannot enter into alliances until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.
-- Celebrate and then on to the next battle